Giants record: 6-4
This time last year: 7-3
Time of game: 3:25
Stat worth noting: The Giants only had the ball for 19:41 all game, compared to 40:19 for the Jags.
Stat worth noting II: New York was able to convert only four-of-13 third downs, while Jacksonville clicked at 50 percent, moving the sticks nine out of 18 tries.
Turning point: Miraculously the Giants were still in the game after halftime despite being dominated on both sides of the ball. Big Blue needed a big defensive stop, yet Reggie Torbor couldn’t make the play. The Jags had a third-and-five from their own 38 when Torbor had Jacksonville QB David Garrard dead to rights. However, Garrard shook off Torbor’s weak tackle attempt and subsequent desperation try by William Joseph and took off down the right sideline for 17 yards. That led to another Jacksonville field goal and the Jags never looked back.
Play to remember: Plaxico Burress danced around multiple defenders en route to his 25-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter. Burress took a short pass and made Jags CB Brian Williams look silly, sidestepped another would-be tackler then crossed the goal line to give New York life – at least for the moment.
Play to forget: One play after the Giants miraculously converted a third-and-18 with a screen pass to Brandon Jacobs that netted 20 yards, Manning badly underthrew a wide-open Plaxico Burress and had the ball picked off by Jags safety Deon Grant. Instead of a big gain (or possibly TD) one way, Grant’s pick and return gave the Jags the ball at the New York 30.
0 – Game lead in the NFC East for Big Blue only two weeks after they boasted a two-game cushion.
19.6 – Eli Manning’s QB rating for the first half when he completed only five-of-14 passes.
53 – Yardage of Plaxico Burress’ would-be catch that was challenged and overturned late in the third quarter. Burress tipped the pass to himself before trapping it against the ground.
“It was a pretty pitiful performance all the way around.” – Giants RB Tiki Barber
“This one feels pretty good. Monday night against the New York Giants, a team that I grew up loving all the way to college and to play against my old head coach, the one who drafted me.” – Jaguars QB David Garrard
What went right
An illegal hands to the face penalty on Jags CB Rashean Mathis negated a Jacksonville defensive touchdown. Manning fumbled under pressure and had the free ball returned for a score by Paul Spicer. However, New York lucked out big-time when the play was nullified.
While it appeared to be the correct call, the Giants nonetheless won a challenge late in the first quarter. Eli Manning’s pass to Plaxico Burress, who was originally ruled to have caught the ball and fumbled, actually was called incomplete. Instead of the Jags getting the ball at the New York 22-yard line, Big Blue retained possession.
In shotgun formation on the game’s first series, Jags center Brad Meester snapped the ball over the head of QB David Garrard, who recovered the loose ball at the Jags 1. Jacksonville’s punt from their own end zone and Chad Morton’s return gave New York the ball at the Jags 29. That led to the game’s first points – a 40-yard Jay Feely FG.
What went wrong
Until it was too late, Eli Manning was downright lousy in Jacksonville. He improved slightly in the second half – solely because he was terrible during the opening two quarters. It’s been a couple weeks since Manning has played well. It might be time to start to worry, even just a little.
The Jaguars had no problem getting to and harassing Manning, while New York’s D-line, minus Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora, of course, could not do the same. The Giants offensive line has had better showings – so has the Giants D-line for that matter.
While New York didn’t reach the Jacksonville red zone until its final possession of the game, the Jags seemingly played half the game inside New York’s 20. Jacksonville score two TDs and two FGs in five trips into New York’s red zone.
The Jags sliced right through New York’s defense early in the second period. Jacksonville marched 57 yards in eight plays and took a 10-3 lead on Fred Taylor’s 10-yard TD run. Taylor ran right through Will Demps’ weak tackle attempt on the score. Earlier in the drive, Ernest Wilford stiff-armed Gibril Wilson to convert a third-and-three.